The Butler movie matched with Civil Rights-inspired recipes

Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey & David Oyelowo

Rating 9/10

Plot:

– An old man, Cecil Gaines (Whitaker) sits in the lobby of the White House waiting to meet the President. He starts remembering his childhood on the plantation when his dad was killed by the heartless white farm owner, Thomas (Alex Pettyfer) after a pretty tame confrontation.
– The lady of the house, elderly Annabeth (Vanessa Redgrave), feels bad for Cecil so she makes him a house boy and teaches him how to serve dinner, drinks and the rest.
– When he grows up, Cecil becomes a pretty decent butler and eventually is employed by the White House.
– He marries Gloria (Winfrey) and raises two boys while serving Presidents such as Eisenhower (Robin Williams), JFK (James Marsden), Johnson (Liev Schreiber), Nixon (John Cusack) and Ronald Regan (Alan Rickman).
– His oldest boy, Louis (Oyelowo) leaves home to go to college down south, making his parents extremely worried as tensions are super-high down there. Louis joins the Civil Rights movement, riding the Freedom Riders bus that was torched by the KKK.
– He survived and despite his parents’ pleas to stop, he digs in, eventually joining the Black Panthers party.
– Then their younger son, Charlie (Elijah Kelley) heads to Vietnam but Louis tries to talk him out of going, especially while African Americans are being killed in their own streets by their fellow Americans. – From time to time, Cecil asks his boss to be paid the same amount as the white butlers with the same opportunities. But he’s denied every time.
– Time flies and Cecil and Gloria get older. Cec eventually resigns and patches up his differences with Louis.
– Then the first African American President is elected and his heart is full! Sigh.

Entree:

As ‘Armies march on their stomachs’, we’re cooking up a meal of food that would have fuelled the bodies, the minds and the souls of those brave Civil Rights activists who risked their lives to bring equality to their nation! For starters let’s make Crunchy Coconut Lime Chicken Strips from Parsley, Sage & Sweet.

Review:

I loved this movie. Based on a true story (with a little artistic license thrown in), it’s incredibly moving and intriguing. I’m a huge fan of history and I must say, being an Aussie, I’m not that familiar with American history, so this was an education in itself.

It never ceases to amaze me that people can hate others simply because of their skin colour. I just don’t get it! This movie is a powerful reminder to treasure all people, to be careful about how we think of different races, because I’m sure we’re all guilty of racism at one time or another. If not out loud then in our thoughts.

All the performances are solid in this film and it’s great to see quality actors playing the Presidents. They did a pretty good job, I reckon. Oprah’s performance surprised me the most. I know she started as an actor but her depth and commitment to the character was awesome.

This is a long movie at 132 minutes but it sucks you in from the beginning. Cecil’s life is full of despair but it’s also full of great friendships, opportunities and family. He’s not perfect and I like that. But he loved deeply and worked extremely hard to support his family! He was noble, self-controlled and kind. Someone you’d love to have a deep chat with!

Main meal:

Our main combines two classic Southern recipes, making a pretty hearty meal! First it’s Apple-Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops from Taste of the South.

And secondly, to continue the ‘stuffed’ theme, it’s South of the Border Stuffed Bell Peppers from Bush Beans.

Image: Bush Beans

Image: Bush Beans

The Butler trivia:

  • Budget – $30 million
  • Based on the White House butler, Eugene Allen who served eight Presidents for over 30 years.
  • One of the original producers, Laura Ziskin passed away after a battle with cancer before the movie was ever made.
  • On Gloria’s mirror, there’s a photo of two kids, one is actually Oprah as a child.
  • Matthew McConaughey was set to play JFK but dropped out as he was filming something else.
  • This film has an incredible 41 Producers credited! Eek!

Dessert:

Now if you’re a sweet tooth like me, you’re going to love this recipe. It’s Gooey Chocolate Fudge Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet from Candy Pin! It looks so good, I’ll have to buy me a skillet just to make it!

Image: Candy Pin

Image: Candy Pin

Have you seen this film? What would you give it out of 10?

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